Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
As speculation about a presidential run increases, there is more evidence that former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is in trouble on Common Core. Instead of trying to deal with the myriad logical academic, developmental, psychological, and privacy problems of the Common Core system, as stated in a recent Wall Street Journal interview reported in Ben Shapiro's Truth Revolt, he had another of what Michelle Malkin had described as a "Common Core snit fit." Jeb whined that he has "lost [his] patience," describing to the Journal, "an unwillingness of special interests to improve public education."The Wall Street Journal further reported:
"He reiterated his support for higher academic standards--whether they are the Common Core national standards or other equally rigorous benchmarks--and for testing to measure whether students are meeting them. 'If you don't measure, you really don't care,' he said."
As previously laid out in the rebuttals to his Education Next interview and his foundation summit speech, Bush continues to either labor under the delusion or foist the deception that Common Core standards are rigorous, internationally benchmarked, academic, not psychologically manipulative, developmentally appropriate, etcetera, when they are NONE of those things. He is either unaware or steadfastly refusing to look at the mountains of evidence of all of the problems with the standards, the testing, and the data collection system. Bush also does not seem to realize that furious parents trying to protect the children's minds, hearts, and futures are not "special interests" to be denigrated and ignored.
Even worse than that, he revealed in that interview that he really doesn't care what the children, parents, and teachers of this nation are suffering under this new regime. He made it perfectly clear that he is willing to alienate the Republican primary voters, especially conservative Read more
Karen R. Effrem, M.D. - Executive Director
Jeb Bush gave the keynote speech at his Foundation for Excellence in Education national education summit in Washington DC on November 19th. He made an effort to soften his attacks on those who oppose Common Core by now saying he respects us and by shifting blame to the federal government. As his remarks in Education Next on Common Core required a rebuttal, so too do his efforts to continue his unreasonable defense of Common Core. Here is a response to some of his statements on Common Core from that speech:
JB: This is why the debate over the Common Core State Standards has been troubling.KRE: What is really troubling is that you think these horrific standards that are academically inferior, developmentally inappropriate, and psychologically manipulative with their accompanying tests and invasive data collection system should just be imposed on the nation without a word of protest from the parents, students, and teachers that have to suffer under them.JB: I respect those who have weighed in on all sides of this issue. Nobody in this debate has a bad motive.KRE: I suppose that we should be happy that you have changed your tune from this same speech a year ago when you called opposition to Common Core "political" and full of "conspiracy theories." However, everyone can see that it is you who are being political as you try to placate opposition while getting ready to run for president.JB: And in my view, the rigor of the Common Core State Standards must be the new minimum in classrooms.KRE: There is nothing particularly rigorous about these standards. They are untested and not internationally benchmarked. Federally mandated state standards have done nothing in this country to improve achievement and several think tanks including the Brookings Institute say that national standards, particularly Common Core, will not improve achievement either. Imposing these very problematic standards will Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush discussed Common Core during an interview with Education Next. Below is my response to his statements:EN: You have been a steadfast supporter of the common core, even when others have become increasingly critical. Why? What do you say to critics?JB: I support high academic standards. Period.
KRE: If you support high academic standards, then why do you support Common Core? They are untested; not rigorous; not internationally benchmarked; developed by one key architect who admitted the major authors were "unqualified;" admitted by another key architect to be inadequate for STEM majors in four year universities; admitted by the US DOE, the National Association of State Boards of Education, and other major groups to teach "social emotional learning," "mindsets,"" behaviors;" and are declared by 500 early childhood experts, as well as many content experts and psychologists to be developmentally inappropriate.
JB: High academic standards are a basic element of reform. Yet, across the country, state standards have been abysmally low for too long, evidenced by the fact that 75 percent of high school graduates are not fully prepared for college or a good paying job. A recent study by the American Institutes for Research compared state standards with international assessments and found the difference between states with the highest and lowest standards was the equivalent of three to four grade levels.
KRE: There is no evidence that statewide or national standards improve academic performance. Since the passage of the Improving America's Schools Act and Goals 2000, started by your father and completed by President Clinton in 1994, NAEP scores have either been stagnant or fallen.
According to research by the Cato Institute, the U.S. does both better and worse on international achievement comparisons than nations that have national standards Read more
Former Governor Jeb Bush's foundation and all three gubernatorial candidates have put out statements on high stakes testing. These tests are related to the implementation of Common Core, renamed as the Florida Standards.As the tsunami of opposition to the developmentally inappropriate, invasive and expensive high stakes testing scheme associated with Common Core continues to build, Jeb Bush's foundation is running for cover and trying to back off some of the tests. Executive Director Patricia Levesque wrote a letter posted on Bush's Foundation for Excellence in Education website that first tries to defend all of the testing: Schools have the freedom to teach however they think is best. But standardized tests ensure schools teach all children to the same high expectations. Without them, history shows some schools set lower expectations for some students. And we shouldn't have a system that discriminates. (Emphasis in original)
The problem is that there is little evidence historically that statewide standards and tests mandated by the federal government have worked. to improve achievement or close the achievement gap. Despite spending $2 trillion dollars at the federal level, student achievement has remained stagnant and the achievement gap is essentially unchanged:
Other research by Neal McCluskey of Cato reveals that the US does both better and worse on international comparisons than nations with national education standards. Research by Dr. Chris Tienken of Seton Hall University shows that the US leads the world in innovation and entrepreneurialism without national standards.Levesque later admits that excessive testing is a problem and throws a bone to parents: While I strongly believe in tests, I agree there is such a thing as too many tests...Tests need to serve a purpose and not simply take up valuable classroom time. It's refreshing to see that some districts are reviewing their local tests. And we would encourage Read more
#StopJebNow Congratulations! We are winning! Any talk of standards and testing has become radioactive in the Florida governor's race. While the new 30 second ad by former Governor Jeb Bush cut for Governor Scott mentions education, any discussion of Common Core or even "high standards" is conspicuously absent. We are sure the Scott campaign pleaded with Bush to go nowhere near that controversial subject. If Bush can't even mention his favorite topic in his home state, hopefully this sends a strong message to him that he will have little support even in Florida as he contemplates a 2016 presidential run. Read more
Debbie Higgenbotham, homeschooling mother of seven children and anti-Common Core warrior via the group Florida Parents R.I.S.E. which she co-founded, recently met Governor Scott on a campaign stop and was able to tell him how dangerous his refusal to deal honestly with Common Core is for children and for his re-election:
I had the opportunity to meet the Governor on one of his campaign stops at a pizzeria in St. John's County. Since we home school our kids, it was a great opportunity for a field trip to experience what it means to be involved and educated on issues that concern our state. We were expecting to see a large crowd surrounding the building when we drove up but to our surprise there was hardly anyone there. Finding a parking space was fairly easy. With lots of smiling faces we made our way to two booths in the restaurant. My good friends, Dru Faulk and Leanne King, were already there and getting acquainted with the other people who were there.After the speech was done we were one of the first to join the Governor for a quick picture. The Governor was awed at the fact that these were all my children and that there were 7 of them. And also how well behaved they were. He made some small talk with the kids. He bent down to have a better conversation with them which I thought was genuine. He even held the baby who was reaching for him at one point. As we stood there posing for pictures and chatting I started my plea. I started by saying that we were a home schooling family and he seemed impressed by that. He made the comment that he is trying to convince his daughter to home school his grand-kids. I was stunned by that but encouraged him to keep talking with her about it. But I revealed why we were home schooling, and that was because of Common Core. I was working hard with everyone I could to get rid of Common Core and the federal mandates from our schools. Until then, none of my children will return to any classroom.
I handed him a Read more
Photo Credit - Breitbart New
During an interview with Breitbart News at a North Carolina campaign stop, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul explained his opposition to Common Core: "I don't think there's really a constitutional role for the federal government in education. So I'm not for a national curriculum," Paul said, adding:"I think the danger of having one central governmental authority deciding curriculum is what if we get some people who decide we really need to treat Karl Marx fairly, we need to make sure he gets a good writeup in the history and Adam Smith, oh gosh, he was terrible. You can see how once it's nationalized, one person can insert a bias into the curriculum, and it goes everywhere, and then you have to fight it. Should your local school district have to fight Washington, or shouldn't you have to go to a school board member and say, "Should we have that in our textbooks?" So more local control is better. And different parts of the country might choose different curriculums--and North Carolina is more conservative, so my guess is they might have a little bit different curriculum than San Francisco."
While not mentioning Jeb Bush by name, he had a harsh warning for potential 2016 presidential contenders on Common Core
"I don't see Common Core being--if you're for Common Core and you're for a national curriculum, I don't see it being a winning message in a Republican primary," Paul said in an interview backstage at an event where he endorsed Rep. Walter Jones (R-NC) for reelection. "If there's a Republican candidate out there--let's just say there's a hypothetical one that's for Common Core. I'm saying that that hypothetical candidate that's for Common Core probably doesn't have much chance of winning in a Republican primary."
The article went on to describe Jeb Bush's awkward campaign appearance for Thom Tillis related to Common Core and immigration where Tillis had to distance himself from Bush that we have also reported. Read more
Sunshine State News just reported that former Governor Jeb Bush and Senator Marco Rubio will be holding a fundraiser for Governor Rick Scott on October 24th as he campaigns for re-election. Reporter Jeff Henderson stated that even though conservatives disagree with Bush on Common Core, that "Scott could have no better people to beat the drums to get Republicans out than Bush and Rubio."Given recent events, we would question that assertion where Bush is concerned. When Bush recently campaigned for Scott, he all but admitted that the Scott administration's elaborate ruse of pretending to care what the people of Florida thought about the standards and changing only 0.9% of them under the deceptive moniker of the Florida Standards was a sham. Bush called the changes "not substantial." That bit of campaign support from Bush has not helped Scott break out of the polling deadlock he is in with Charlie Crist. In fact, both Crist and Scott received low marks for honesty in a recent Quinnipiac poll. The latest Survey USA poll has Scott down 6% to Crist with Adrian Wyllie at 8%. That gives the latest Real Clear Politics average to Crist at 1.4% ahead of Scott for the first time in several weeks. Scott won by less than 2% in 2010 with full conservative support.When Bush went to conservative North Carolina to campaign, even moderate Thom Tillis had to publicly distance himself from Jeb on Common Core. Bush then was raked over the coals by Slate columnist Jamelle Bouie in the Miami Herald over that tone deaf performance: The Tillis affair is representative of Bush's flaws as a candidate. A more-talented politician would have tailored his message to his audience. Indeed, it doesn't take a savant to know that -- if you're supportive -- immigration and Common Core are areas to avoid with a conservative audience. But then, Bush isn't in the same world as rivals like Sen. Ted Cruz, Sen. Rand Paul or even Gov. Chris Christie.Since leaving office, Bush has lived in Read more
Karen R. Effrem, MD - Executive Director
Two more important columns have come out in response to Speaker-Designate Steve Crisafulli's op-ed and email and on the general issue of Common Core and testing. Although not really dealing with the issue of the tests coming as a result of Bush Family induced federal mandates and incentives, they, as we do, emphasize the issues of parental rights, loss of instructional time, and stifling of teachers over mandated tests.Former Florida Representative Paula Dockery wrote an excellent column that was particularly cogent on the issues of no one being fooled about the Common Core re-branding to the Florida Standards, Jeb Bush's role, and the need for parental control over decision making in their children's education: Florida approved the benchmarks in 2010 with little dissent, but public opposition is getting louder. Complicating matters for Scott is the fact that Jeb Bush is a vocal supporter of Common Core and of rigorous standardized testing in general. Scott's response to the public outcry was to make some changes to the standards and rebrand the "new" product as the Florida Standards. Opponents of Common Core were neither fooled nor impressed. Jeb Bush, on the other hand, was fine with the changes, as he recognized that the commitment to Common Core essentially remained intact...
...With little movement at the state level other than pacifying platitudes, concerned parents have taken to the school boards to voice their frustration and demands regarding the continuous expansion of testing over teaching......The "paid to advocate" crowd that pushes the idea of parental choice as it pertains to vouchers and charter schools is also the crowd pushing for more and more standardized testing in public schools.Their advocacy for their "parents know best what's right for their children" mantra applies to school choice, but is fiercely challenged when it comes to standardized testing.If Florida doesn't have the backbone Read more
As with Rick Scott, Jeb Bush is continuing to have Common Core problems. So much so, that in an interview with the Washington Post's Jennifer Rubin, he didn't do his usual bashing of Common Core opponents, but rather blamed Barak Obama for the conditional waivers associated with No Child Left Behind. Rubin writes with our comments: Bush may be best known for his education reforms in Florida and his continuing efforts to see comprehensive reform throughout the country. He admits, however, "In the last year or year and a half there has been a stalling-out of the comprehensive reform movement." Common Core has been in the middle of this, with supporters advocating the adoption of high standards originally developed by the states and critics characterizing them as the administration's attempt to take over education. This is a distraction, in Bush's view, along with less central issues like the amount of testing required of children.
COMMENT: This continues to show Bush's tone deafness as both in survey after survey and in numerous scholarly papers, the perception and evidence for federal overreach is plain to see. And if he continues to think that testing is merely a distraction when it takes 40% of instructional time, does not aid teaching, psychologically profiles and career tracks kids, and makes profound decisions for their lives based on just a few tests that are written to be failed, then he will continue to have major problems with the public.
Interestingly, Bush does not castigate Common Core critics for peddling misinformation about the state-developed standards. Instead he invokes a theme conservatives find familiar: "The principal reason [for the fight] has been the president. There is no trust he will faithfully enforce the law." He points to the administration's conditioning No Child Left Behind waivers on adoption of Common Core or equivalent standards, a practice driven not by legislation but by executive whim. "I respect the Read more
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